22.12.2015 Building energy efficiency, Energy savings projects

Energy savings projects can be complicated - here’s how to make them that much easier.

Measure your current energy consumption

One of the most important things to do in any energy savings project is to begin by measuring your present energy consumption. To save energy you first need to understand where and how you currently use it.

To do this you need to have all the necessary measurement sensors in place in your building, including the electricity consumption measurements from all subsections of your building. Variations in consumption patterns need to be identified in detail to reach the full energy saving potential in any project.  More importantly, you need to understand what is the reason behind the energy consumption in the first place. With Nuuka, you are able to study the whole process of a building (including HVAC) and find the root cause of your energy consumption. Maybe it’s one single air ventilation unit; a heater or inefficient cooling device; or something else altogether that is causing unusually high energy consumption. Analysing the whole process and creating alarms for every individual machine or process in your building and make your building more efficient is a must.

But it isn’t only electricity that matters in this critical measurement period - the measurement of heat consumption is crucial in this starting phase, as is measuring indoor air quality, as well as HVAC process performance.

That’s right, measuring your indoor air quality and HVAC process performance is critical for achieving real energy savings.

After you've successfully completed these initial measurements, the next step is to set targets for your energy savings project, and finally creating alarms for every part of the process to make sure your building remains at an optimal level.

 

Setting the right targets for your energy savings project

In the first phase of any energy savings project, the present level of energy consumption needs to be identified. Depending on consumption levels, your targets for energy savings and indoor air conditions are established, with these typically derived by first of all making sure your building works as planned, and also benchmarking other similar buildings.

Once the targets are set the energy savings project can begin.

What may not be so evident to many people when considering energy savings projects is that HVAC systems and the inefficient use of these systems is a huge user of energy in most commercial buildings.

Your HVAC processes are typically responsible for roughly half of your total energy consumption.

Most of the energy savings therefore will be achieved by fine tuning the adjustments of your HVAC system.  The timing of air flows as well as the adjustments of the valves will be assessed and an appropriate mode of operation will be set for heating and ventilation.

 

Download the Nuuka overview   →

 

Truly understand your HVAC system

This process requires an in-depth understanding of your building's air flows as well as a good grasp of the HVAC system for optimal air flow control. This know-how is crucial, and if you don’t have this know-how in house, then it needs to be sourced from professionals. The fine tuning continues until the desired indoor air quality is achieved, alongside the targeted optimal energy consumption. And it doesn’t stop here, making sure your building performs optimally is an on-going process.

 

Measure your target variables in building energy efficiency 

There are challenges in the fine-tuning process when it comes to identifying the right parameters for controlling the process, and in being able to measure the correct target variables. Nuuka’s tools offer the possibility for the measurement of target variables as well as control variables.

During the fine-tuning process, a HVAC expert can experiment with different control alternatives and find the settings that work best. The HVAC expert has the tools for measuring changes, and The Nuuka measurements give an important extension to the tool box of the HVAC expert, providing valuable information on the effectiveness of specific adjustments.

 

Maintain target levels with alarm limits

Once the energy savings process has achieved its targets, it is important that consumption remains at the targeted level. Achieving stable consumption levels relies on setting alarm limits to critical variables. If there are any deviations, alarms go off and the necessary action can be taken (such as informing your maintenance company or other partner). In this way, your building is managed according to pre-set limits and the targeted energy consumption is regulated and stable.

At Nuuka we know that energy optimization in any HVAC process usually brings big savings. That's why our Connect and Create platform was designed to reduce energy consumption, improve indoor air conditions and automate sustainability reporting. 

Want to learn more? Have a look at out our overview to understand our unique Connect and Create approach:

 

Download the Nuuka overview   →


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